Mother Goes Deaf After Giving Birth
Most pregnant women can’t help but worry at some point what their delivery will be like and all the things that could possibly go wrong. Most likely no one has ever stopped to think, “Uh oh, what if I go deaf?” But that’s actually what happened to Heather Simonsen after delivering her third child.
Before you add ‘deafness’ to your list of pregnancy concerns over which you have absolutely no control, know this: Simonsen began having hearing issues with her first two pregnancies. Her ears felt clogged and sounds would come and go, according to KSL. She went to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who told her she would soon need hearing aids.
Then Simonsen got pregnant again. Hours after delivering her third – a girl named London – Simonsen’s doctors came in to speak with her but she couldn’t hear what they were saying. “I could tell they were talking to me, but I could not hear them at all,” she told the station. “I could tell that they were speaking more loudly, but I could not understand what they were saying.”
Simonsen was diagnosed with a genetic hearing condition called Otoscelrosis, which involves an overgrowth of bone in the space behind the eardrum and inner ear. Kevin Wilson, an otolarynologist with the University of Utah, said that pregnancy and delivery can make the condition dramatically worse.
Fortunately, Simonsen opted to have corrective surgery, which has a 90 percent success rate. It worked, allowing this mom to finally hear her newborn baby’s coos and cries. “I can hear better than I’ve been able to hear in probably a decade,” she said. “Even hearing [my baby’s] cry is wonderful because I know I can respond.”
It’s a happy ending to a terrifying situation, that’s for sure. KSL reports that the condition is more common than most people think and that as much as 10 percent of the population may suffer from the condition – though usually not severely enough to warrant a diagnosis. Regardless, it’s stories like this that act as a reminder that we should be grateful every day – even for the sound of our child’s cries.